attend the opening by Kristen Kosmas
image by Kristen Kosmas
Image description: A brown envelope with the words “attend the opening” hand stenciled in pencil in large letters. Above these words, peeking out of the envelope, is a darker brown piece of paper with a small strip of white paper glued to it that reads “the space of perception.” To the right of the strip of paper is a small pink and purple flower sticker and above it a shard of pink and purple paper.
attend the opening
by Kristen Kosmas
co-commissioned by On the Boards and The Chocolate Factory
supported by a Eureka Commission from the Onassis Foundation USA
- DATES: April – November 2021
attend the opening, is a mail art project by Seattle-based writer, performer, and interdisciplinary artist Kristen Kosmas.
On the Boards (WA) and The Chocolate Factory Theater (NY) have co-commissioned Kosmas to expand her ongoing mail art project, attend the opening, in which she mails handmade collage works, unprompted, to her extended community. These works form a tactile accumulation of personal connections and a record of the shifting narrative of the global pandemic.
From April to October 2021, Kosmas will create 32 small-scale collage works and will mail them to individuals across the U.S., free of charge. Recipients will be chosen by lottery from a pool of individuals who have been nominated by friends or loved ones. The works comprising attend the opening will exist as gifts, performances, and intimate one-to-one exchanges. Upon completion, the works will be collectively published in book form in 2022.
Over the last ten years On the Boards and The Chocolate Factory Theater have developed deep ties to Kosmas and her work, commissioning and presenting her works There There (2012), The People’s Republic of Valerie (2017) and The People’s Republic of Valerie, Living Room Edition (2019). Both organizations are thrilled to launch this multi-year co-commissioning initiative, supported by the Onassis Foundation USA.
KRISTEN KOSMAS has had new works commissioned by SFMOMA's Open Space, the Chocolate Factory (NYC), On the Boards (Seattle), Performance Space 122 (NYC), The Theatre of a Two-Headed Calf (NYC), Seattle University's SITE Specific, Dixon Place (NYC), and the New City Theater (Seattle). Her work has been presented in Seattle, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and in New York City at numerous venues including the Chocolate Factory, PS 122, La Mama, Dixon Place, Prelude Festival, Barbès, the Ontological/Hysteric Downstairs Series, and the Poetry Project. Her play Hello Failure was published by Ugly Duckling Presse; her multi-voice performance text This From Cloudland appears in issue #4 of PLAY A Journal of Plays; The Mayor of Baltimore + Anthem, There There, and The People’s Republic of Valerie, Living Room Edition were published by 53rd State Press; and her play APEX appears in 15 Second Plays Curated by the Debate Society published by UDP.
THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY THEATER exists to encourage and support artists in their process of inquiry. We engage specifically with a community of artists who challenge themselves and, in doing so, challenge us. We believe that by supporting the labor of these artists, we contribute to elevating New York City as a thriving and more equitable wellspring of ideas.
The Chocolate Factory embraces artistic practice as an integral part of the artist’s whole life, an essential component of the life of our community and a key element of a larger national and international artistic dialogue. As such, we host artists as our equal partners with shared autonomy, trust and appreciation. While we seek to make big ideas and extended relationships possible, we commit to working at a small, intimate and personal scale, with few artistic compromises or boundaries.
We achieve all of this by creating a vessel for artistic experimentation through a residency package serving the whole artist - salary, space, responsive and flexible support for the development of new work from inspiration to presentation.
Works supported by The Chocolate Factory have received numerous Bessie and Obie Awards and have toured nationally and internationally.
An extensive archive of The Chocolate Factory’s past performances is freely available at vimeo.com/chocolatefactory.
ONASSIS USA was founded in 2000, the Onassis USA was the first international affiliate of the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation. For over 19 years, it has been dedicated to culture, community, and education, with projects that can effectively inspire social change and justice across borders. By collaborating with Onassis Stegi in Athens and educational and cultural institutions throughout the Americas, Onassis USA presents theatrical and dance productions, art exhibits, conversations, lectures, and other initiatives, triggering discussions about democratic values, human rights, civil rights, and the ever-changing realities facing today’s citizens on a global scale. Onassis USA runs through two major initiatives, one cultural for the general public, and the other educational for scholars and students in partnership with educational institutions through the Onassis Humanities Impact Program.